Standards threaten super mobile phone

Standards threaten super mobile phone
Svetlana Josifovska The adoption of next generation mobile phone systems is likely to be delayed due to a lack of a global standard. So argues Ovum, the telecommunications and IT analyst group, in its report Third Generation Mobile Systems. UMTS in Europe, PCS in the US and J-FLPMTS in Japan all belong to the International Mobile Telephony (ITM)-2000 framework but are incompatible. Unless the three groups agree on a common, global standard the appearance of mobile multimedia will be stifled. Another factor threatening the early uptake of next generation mobile systems is operator uncertainty over whether they should continue spending their money on enhancing current, second generation systems or develop ing the next generation one. “How do you increase capacity, through enhanced second generation or jumping straight onto third generation? This is a dilemma,” said Clare McCarthy, senior consultant at Ovum. Ovum also believes the notion that users will adopt a single terminal is false. “People are going to have more than one terminal depending on what they want to do. You’d probably have two or three terminals for different applications rather than one big terminal capable of doing everything,” said McCarthy. There are also significant technical challenges to be overcome in the development of a single terminal capable of delivering voice, data and video. Battery life, memory, processing power and display technologies will all need to be enhanced if users are to interact with multimedia content over the mobile network. Ovum forecasts that by the year 2005 there will be 61 million third generation subscribers worldwide. By 2010 this will increase to 570 million subscribers – 50 per cent of the entire mobile subscriber base. Third generation mobile at a glance
Will offer users consistent quality coverage for voice, data, graphical and video-based information, known as mobile multimedia. Enable high-speed data: up to 144kbit/s on the move and 2Mbit/s when stationary. Integrate services across different mobile networks and allow global roaming. Allow delivery of content from Web pages and intranets. Aid the convergence of fixed and mobile networks.

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